New Executive Chef at Momofuku
CityCenterDC restaurant Momofuku has brought in a new chef, marking a change in direction. A Maryland native, chef Tae Strain was most recently chef de cuisine at the Progress in San Francisco. Before that, he was sous chef at New York’s Public and executive chef at Demi in Baltimore. Reportedly, the restaurant has already dropped its signature ramen from the menu.
AG Racine Sues Nonprofit
Attorney General Karl A. Racine has filed a lawsuit against Howard Theatre Restoration, Inc. Racine said the group violated D.C.’s Nonprofit Corporations Act by failing to obtain audits. The nonprofit was established just over a decade ago to bring to light the theater’s role as a place for African American performers during the years when venues were segregated. Entertainers who have passed through the Howard include Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin.
Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Pushed Back
It looks like spring may be a bit further off. The National Park Service pushed back its peak bloom prediction for the District’s cherry trees — when roughly 70 percent of the Tidal Basin trees have flowered — by 10 days, to March 27 to 31. The previously forecast peak bloom, March 17 to 20, turned out to be too early due to the unseasonably cold March weather. When peak bloom has been reached, the trees remain in flower for up to 10 days, weather permitting.
Interactive Crime Map Launched
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a project that took three years to create: D.C.’s new crime cards app. The technology, which shows crime data by location, is part of an effort to up transparency and improve crime reporting. The Metropolitan Police Department worked with developers to make an app that enables residents to search a map by interaction and type of crime. Crimes will be entered into the system by the next business day.
Ballot Initiative on Waitstaff Wages
The D.C. Board of Elections certified a ballot initiative on waitstaff wages for the June 19 primary election. If it ends up going through, the initiative would phase out the current tipped minimum-wage system and have restaurant workers be paid the same minimum wage as other employees in the city. Right now, restaurant employees are paid $3.33 per hour and get tips to make more. The ballot initiative has the new system coming into play by 2025.
Bicyclists’ League Give D.C. Gold Status
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that D.C. has been named a gold bike-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. Washington is the largest city on the East Coast to get the distinction. The gold status was based on many factors, including, in addition to Capital Bikeshare, the extent of the city’s bike lanes, cycle tracks and multi-use trails. The Capital Bikeshare network comprises 4,000 bikes at more than 400 stations in the metropolitan area.